Search

Anger as poorer residents of Kentish Town housing block are forced to use ‘shabby’ back entrance

08:00 22 August 2014

The

The 'poor door' entrance for affordable housing residents of the Prince's Park development in Kentish Town. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Developers behind a new housing block in Kentish Town have been accused of turning some of its residents into second-class citizens after forcing its poorer families to use a more unsightly entrance at the back of the building.

The concierge-manned entrance for private residentsThe concierge-manned entrance for private residents

The opening of the Prince’s Park flats in June has been marred by heavy criticism from neighbouring community groups and leaders with Camden Council’s cabinet member for housing branding the built-in segregation “divisive”.

The building in Prince of Wales Road, by developer Union Developments, consists of 36 private apartments and 19 affordable housing units.

Residents living in affordable housing are not able to reach their homes through the concierge-manned glass entrance like their private neighbours, but must 
instead use a basic wood-slated door round the back.

They are also forced to use separate bins and postal services and are not allowed to share some of the other amenities, such as the use of the underground car park.

Dubbed “poor doors”, the less fancy entrances are seen as a way to keep service costs of affordable housing flats down.

But Matt Sanders, former councillor for Haverstock and chairman of Friends of Talacre Gardens, which neighbours the development, said the policy “divided communities”.

He said: “It’s really sad we still have developments in Camden that separate communities like this. It isn’t in keeping with the values we have in the borough, where we champion everyone living side by side.

“It’s an issue I raised when I was on the planning committee in the past.

“Developers will make all kind of excuses like needing to keep service charges down. But I refuse to believe that we can’t put our heads together and come up with a solution that allows people to live together.”

The backlash against the two-tiered system joins London-wide anger over a rising number of developers in the city who are also dividing affordable housing tenants from their wealthier neighbours with separate entrances.

With other major global cities considering a ban on the practice the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has faced similar calls.

A heated debate is raging in New York after its city council approved a planning application for a luxurious Manhattan development with a “poor door”.

Speaking while on holiday in nearby Harlem, Camden Council’s cabinet member for housing Cllr Julian Fulbrook told the Ham&High: “In terms of social cohesion it’s essential people who live in the same building walk through the same entrances otherwise it’s very divisive.

“I’m looking at a couple of ‘projects’ in Harlem right now and it’s still a horrendously divided society. We don’t want this in Camden.”

A spokesman for Union Developments said: “This isn’t us wanting to separate our residents. The key reason is because housing associations generally want to keep service charges as low as possible, so don’t want to pay for a concierge or other amenities.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Florist Pip Lowe will also have a stall at Fair in the Square. Picture: Polly Hancock

A successful City financier has packed in the day job after 18 years to open her own bag shop – and she will join many other business success stories at Highgate’s Fair in the Square.

The LaRouche organisation was founded by American political activist Lyndon LaRouche

Operating in a clandestine world of “double-speak and brainwashing” the LaRouche organisation is said to be a far-right-wing cult that hides its anti-Semitism behind a mask of left-wing anti-war propaganda, experts say.

Surveying bats on Hampstead Heath.

Hannah Al-Othman joined a group of volunteers from Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum as they learned how to carry out bat surveys.

Yesterday, 14:48
Beatie Wolfe on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Stu Nicholls

A singer-songwriter has helped dementia patients reconnect with the world as part of a groundbreaking experiment into the powerful effect music can have on sufferers’ lives.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder